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Data from: Physical and social cues shape nest-site preference and prey capture behavior in social spiders

Citation

Najm, Gabriella; Pe, Angelika; Pruitt, Jonathan; Pinter-Wollman, Noa (2020), Data from: Physical and social cues shape nest-site preference and prey capture behavior in social spiders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5068/D1W37T

Abstract

Animals often face conflicting demands when making movement decisions. To examine the decision process of social animals, we evaluated nest site preferences of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. Colonies engage in collective web building, constructing three-dimensional nests and two-dimensional capture webs on trees and fences. We examined how individuals and groups decide where to construct a nest based on habitat structure and conspecific presence. Individuals had a strong preference for three dimensional-substrates and conspecific presence. Groups were then provided with conflicting options of three-dimensional substrates vs. two-dimensional substrates with a conspecific. Groups preferred the three-dimensional structures without pre-settled conspecifics over a two-dimensional substrate with conspecifics. When a group fragmented and individuals settled on both substrates, the minority group eventually joined the majority. Before rejoining, the collective prey capture behavior of divided groups improved with the size of the majority fragment. The costs of slow responses to prey for split groups and weak conspecific attraction may explain why dispersal is rare in these spiders.

Usage Notes

Dataset contents overview

Sheet name:

Content:

Indiv_Choice

Decisions made by individual spiders between closed and open structures. Column A is the source colony, column B is the individual ID and column C is the decision made.

Paired_Choice

Decisions made by individual spiders between open structure with a conspecific, and open structure without a conspecific. Column A is the source colony, Column B is the individual choice

Trial_Groups

Foraging aggressiveness for each group. Column A is the trial number, Column B is the Group Number, Column C is the number of individuals on the open structure, Column D is the number of individuals on the closed strucure, Column E is the proportion of individuals on the structure with the majority of individuals, Column F is the foraging aggressiveness, Column G is the total number of attackers, Column H is the number of attackers that came from the closed structure, Column I is the number of attackers that came from the open structure, Column J is the day the trial took place.